April 12, 2023 — Winrock International, the U.S.-based national and international economic development organization, today announced the appointments of Stacy Swann and Mark Watson to its board of directors.
“I speak on behalf of all of Winrock in saying we are both elated and excited to welcome Stacy and Mark to our board,” said Winrock President and CEO Rodney Ferguson. “Both leaders are extraordinarily talented and experienced.”
“Mark Watson is a pioneer in the field of impact investment and socially responsible finance, with expertise in ensuring capital flow and access to BIPOC farmers and others in the U.S. who have historically been shut out from finance and growth opportunities,” Ferguson said. “Stacy Swann is a pioneer of climate finance, with extensive knowledge and experience incorporating policy and investment approaches to managing climate risk and working with policymakers on blended finance and climate-smart fiscal policies.”
Stacy Swann is the CEO and founding partner of Climate Finance Advisors, a benefit LLC based in Washington, D.C., and has more than 25 years of experience in project finance, investment, climate change, and sustainability. Her executive experience includes both climate investments, as well as building and shaping organizations, leading teams, and delivering practical approaches to organizational and operational management, primarily for financial institutions. As CEO and founder of Climate Finance Advisors, she led the firm through its early establishment, achieving more than 100% average annual growth since its founding in 2015, and in 2022 she shepherded the firm through a successful acquisition.
During her career, Swann has held senior and executive positions with the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, the International Finance Corporation, as well as with the U.S. Department of Treasury, Enron Corporation, and other organizations. More recently, she has worked with impact investors, financial institutions, corporations and policymakers on issues at the nexus of climate change and investment. Key experience throughout her career includes project finance and transaction structuring, blended finance, impact investment and fund management, as well as advising on financial policy and regulation that underpin and accelerate net-zero, climate-resilient investment.
In addition to leading Climate Finance Advisors, Swann currently serves on several boards, including the Montgomery County Green Bank where she is a board director and chair of its Investment Committee. She is also a member of the board of the Global Water Partnership, a global action network of more than 3,000 partner bodies in 179 countries focused on building sustainable water systems globally. She sits on Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank)’s Climate Council, an advisory committee to its board, and was its chair from 2021-22. She also participates in several angel investor groups supporting, coaching and investing in climate-related start-up businesses.
Mark Watson is president and co-founder of Potlikker Capital, a nonprofit charitable loan fund. An integrated capital fund dedicated to supporting BIPOC farmers at the intersection of racial and climate justice, Potlikker Capital is a supporting entity to Jubilee Justice and RSF Social Finance. Watson also served as managing director of the Fair Food Fund, which offers catalytic capital with a social equity lens, and codesigned and launched an integrated racial justice capital fund, The Boston Impact Initiative Fund. He is also the founder of Keel Asset Management LLC, a financial advisory firm that provides socially responsible financial planning and investment advisory services to nonprofits, public and corporation pension plans. Watson has over 30 years of experience in financial services, including roles in banking and on Wall Street. He started his career as a banker at the First National Bank of Chicago, (now JP Morgan,) in commercial banking, corporate and public finance, and has 30 years of experience managing investment portfolios for foundations, endowments, and institutional pensions funds. Watson holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s in Business Administration, The Booth School, University of Chicago.